Are Users Ready to See Ads in their Personal Chats?

February 3, 2017 - 2 minutes read

Are users ready for ads to enter the personal chat space? Facebook seems to think so, as they recently announced they’ll be integrating ads with their messaging platform in small tests in Australia and Thailand. The move has sparked both approval and outrage from different corners of the app development industry. Predictably, many iOS app developers and users see ads as appropriate in public places like the social media feed or personal pages, and inappropriate in private, more “intimate” spaces like a personal chat.

While the ads themselves won’t appear mixed into messages directly as they do in Twitter feeds, they will be quite large — appearing as large, material-design-style cards floating between thread icons, similar to how gaming cards appear in the current version of the Messenger app.

Businesses have proven excited to try the new advertising platform. Messenger has well over a billion monthly users, and not advertising directly to those users is seen as a lost opportunity by some developers. For some NYC iPhone app developers, the fallout of how Facebook monetizes chat will have big implications for their smaller chat-based business models.

Users, on the whole, are less excited about the idea. The introduction of chat apps, filters, brand support, and other tangential “chat” features has excited a select few power users while leaving most casual users cold.

Facebook’s app developers are sure to monetize the platform soon. Whether or not they do so using direct ad cards on the home screen will depend to some degree on how it plays out in small tests over the next few months. If all goes as they hope, get ready to see a bit more clutter in your chats—or consider whether the value offered by the app is worth the tradeoff for privacy and “safe space.”

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